View our accessibility package Skip to the Main Content

Still from the film Canned Meat by Terril Calder.


Terril Calder
Terril Calder is currently working with the challenge of making experimental stop-motion animated narrative shorts that exhibit her rural experiences and encompass a performance art feel. Calder is a Métis artist who was born in (Fort Frances) Northern Ontario and lived there until attending a fine arts program at the University of Manitoba as a drawing major with a focus on performance art. In Winnipeg, she became a member of Video Pool and was accepted for their "First Video Fund" through which she received training in video production. She exhibited with the Student Bolshevik group until leaving for Toronto in 1992. In Toronto, Calder met the Shake Well performance art collective and joined them in various exhibitions that led her to a group that founded the 7a*11d International Performance Art festival in Toronto. She has lectured and taught art through the years with various organizations that include the National Ballet School of Canada, Art in the Park program and the University of Manitoba. After receiving additional training in computer animation she decided to explore the fusion of various disciplines. The amalgamation would manifest itself in stop frame animated film.

Canned Meat synopsis
Terril Calder's film Canned Meat serves up an animated tale of a rotting beauty queen who attempts to preserve her youthful image by sealing herself up in a Silverline Trailer. 2009, Canada, 28 min.

Click here to view the official trailer.


Lee Maracle
Lee Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed, award-winning literary works including: Sojourner’s and Sundogs, Ravensong, Bobbi Lee, Daughters Are Forever, Will’s Garden, Bent Box, I Am Woman, and First Wives’ Club: Salish Style. She has co-edited a number of anthologies including the award-winning My Home As I Remember, Telling It: Women and Language Across Culture. Lee is a member of the Sto: Loh nation and has served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor at both University of Toronto and Western Washington University. In 2009, Maracle received an honourary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University. She is currently working on Memory Serves: and other words.


Cheryl L'Hirondelle
According to many dictionaries, the swallow (aka l'hirondelle) is a "migratory swift-flying songbird." This describes Cheryl L"Hirondelle accurately – though for this multi-disciplinary artist and singer/songwriter the definition needs to end with "and so much more."

Known for her ability to freely move from loudly singing and drumming a traditional drum song to crooning a contemporary ballad, L'Hirondelle attributes this to a combination of a strong musical upbringing and years spent listening and participating in First Nations ceremonial music. The presence of her poignant and distinctive vocal delivery and driving hand drum percussion compliments the arrangement of whatever musical setting where she is found, whether it be in live concert or during a family jam. She is from the Canadian northern plains and comes from a large extended musical family and has been singing and performing since she was a child.

L'Hirondelle's debut five-song EP Giveaway was reviewed and added to the second edition of musicologist Brian Wright Mcleod's Encyclopedia of Native Music. Her previous musical efforts have also garnered her critical acclaim with two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2006 and 2007) for her work with Vancouver-based Aboriginal Women's Ensemble M'Girl. Her first attempt producing (and as one half of) the singing/songwriting duo Nikamok was recognized by a nomination from the Prairie Music Awards (now the Western Canadian Music Awards) and many of her songs have been licensed for television, documentary and feature films.

Ever the visionary, she continues to come up with new ways her music and other artistic ideas can converge and in 2009 was recognized as an honoree in the Net.Art category from the Webby Awards for, an ongoing locative songwriting project what she hopes to be her first of many online music projects. Her latest music video is called NDN SPAM, which she co-directed with her music producer Gregory Hoskins. L'Hirondelle is also working on an album of songs she is co-writing with women in prisons across Canada.


Candace Maracle
Candace Maracle is a Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte from Tyendinaga. She is currently completing her master of journalism at Ryerson University's School of Journalism. She has interned at CBC Radio's, The Current and produced a piece on Nisga'a private property ownership, which explored all sides of the debate. She has worked as a general assignment reporter with Turtle Island News, a weekly First Nations newspaper with North American distribution and as online managing editor of The Ryersonian.

The masters program has made her a stronger journalist. She was recently awarded the CanWest Scholarship for Aboriginal Youth in Broadcast Journalism and the James H. Carter Memorial Scholarship for 2010, which recognizes substantial achievement in journalism.

In her undergraduate studies she wrote for the University of Toronto's First Nations' House Magazine. As a First Nations student, she stays active in her community using her education to work with other students on language, art and cultural initiatives. She also volunteers with her dog, a retriever and standard poodle–cross, at Mount Sinai Hospital in a therapy dogs program. Prior to her university career, she worked as a Red Seal chef and lived in Italy for a half-year apprenticeship and in the United Kingdom for five months and was immersed in the culture.

She is currently working on a documentary about Haudenosaunee identity as told through the game of lacrosse. This story idea has received accolades from several broadcast professionals. Candace's ambition is to provide cultural context using her lived experiences as an Aboriginal woman in journalism.

Aboriginal Women in the Arts: Using Art to Reclaim Traditional Roles


Aboriginal Women in the Arts: Using Art to Reclaim Traditional Roles is a two-hour showcase featuring a screening of Canned Meat by director Terril Calder, reading by author Lee Maracle, and musical performance by Cheryl L’Hirondelle. A panel discussion, moderated by journalist Candace Maracle, will follow immediately after the performances. Part of our View Points forum series.


Aboriginal people are staking their claim in the artistic landscape more than ever before. Emerging and established artists alike are using art as an essential medium to share their stories. Lee Maracle, Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Terril Calder use their unique and inherent talents with imagination to create literature, music and film – experiences that can be shared with others.


Throughout the years many strides have been made in the artistic landscape to include voices from Aboriginal women. Many of these leaders have been critically acclaimed and have showcased their work on the national and international level. Although the representation of Aboriginal people as cultural leaders is still small, Aboriginal Women in the Arts: Using Art to Reclaim Traditional Roles will highlight and celebrate the progress that has been made.


The panel discussion will address the challenges and triumphs these artists have faced, their connection with their communities, and what they see for the future in Aboriginal arts and the arts in general. Have the arts helped to reaffirm the traditional roles of women in First Nations culture? Asking questions about identity, the glass ceiling, and re-invention, the panel is not to miss!


Special thanks to our community partner imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.


imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival


Click here for more information on Planet IndigenUs, a programme that explores ancestry and cultures through Indigenous artists.

Lectures Literary Arts Music Film
Home  \  What's ON  \  What's On Calendar